40% of all Americans take a multivitamin. People take multivitamins to increase their nutrient intakes to help improve and maintain health.
How do you pick a multivitamin that’s right for you?
In picking a multivitamin you need to consider age, gender and special needs such as pregnancy and quality of diet. Men have little to no iron in their supplements compared to women. As we get older our bodies ability to absorb nutrients is not as robust or efﬁcient in absorbing nutrients. Seniors have more vitamin D, B-12 and calcium in their supplements compared to younger adults.
Multivitamins are a great way to ﬁll in the gap where nutritional deﬁciencies are identiﬁed. Multivitamins that have recommended intake of vitamins and minerals are usually considered safe and do not interact with most medications with the exception of Coumadin (Warfarin). Patients on Coumadin or any blood thinners should consult with a Pharmacist or Doctor prior to taking a multivitamin. Vitamin K in multivitamins decreases the effectiveness or the therapeutic effect of Coumadin increasing the risk for blood clots. Look for a multivitamin without Vitamin K.
Smokers and former smokers should avoid multivitamins with large amounts of Vitamin A because studies have linked these nutrients to increased risk of lung cancer.
Remember that a multivitamin is not a replacement for a healthy meal.
As a last general tip, always look for a USP seal on the bottle to validate the purity, potency and quality of product.